NHL News: Player News and Updates for 8/23/14
NHL Daily Updates: Checking in on the Latest News, Off-Season Schedule and More
August 23, 2014
It may seem hard to believe, but training camps in the NHL are just a few weeks away. In the meantime, there will be plenty of news items and developments to keep us hockey fans occupied, so with that in mind let’s take our daily look around the league and see what’s happening out there right now.
Lightning Outlook: The Tampa Bay Lightning have been the subject of quite a bit of conversation this off-season. They’re coming off a nice 2013-14, finishing 46-27-9 (good enough for second in the Atlantic Division), but were stopped cold in the Stanley Cup Playoffs by getting swept 4-0 at the hands of the Canadiens.
The abrupt ending wasn’t all the team’s fault; They endured Ben Bishop’s arm injury and had a roster filled with rookies and lacking in veteran leadership. All things considered, their run was impressive.
Now that the Lightning have spent significant time and resources retooling in the off-season, they’re primed and ready to make another run at the playoffs. Notable additions include Jason Garrison, Anton Stralman, Brenden Morrow and Evgeni Nabokov. Paired together with the now tied-up Ryan Callahan, things are looking bright in Tampa.
One of the big questions they’ll be facing concerns center Steven Stamkos; We’re curious to see how he’ll respond this year after missing four months of the 2013-14 campaign due to a leg injury.
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Sharks’ Net Outlook: One of the big storylines facing the San Jose Sharks this year will be the dynamic between goalies Antti Neimi and Alex Stalock.
On one hand, Niemi (who is almost 31) is going into the last year of his current contract. He’s lost two straight Game 7s to the Los Angeles Kings in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, a dubious run that includes an embarrassing series loss after being up 3-0 this past year. Granted, that wasn’t all Niemi’s fault--he actually didn’t play that badly--but it’s the kind of thing that leaves a lasting impression on fans and management alike.
Most people think that Niemi will be able to put the bad ends behind him and get back to business this season. In 2013-14 he posted a regular season GAA of 2.39, which is pretty close to what he’s done over his career.
As for Stalock, he’ll probably get some additional playing time in 2014-15. His GAA of 1.87 can’t be ignored, and if he can keep it up we’ll have some high drama in the San Jose net. It should be interesting to watch.
NHL Daily Schedule: The league action will be picking back up again on Wednesday, October 8. Let’s check out the schedule for that evening and see what we can expect on opening night.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014:
7:00 PM ET:
Montreal Canadiens at Toronto Maple Leafs
7:30 PM ET:
Philadelphia Flyers at Boston Bruins
10:00 PM ET:
Vancouver Canucks at Calgary Flames
San Jose Sharks at Los Angeles Kings
NHL Off-Season Schedule: Let’s keep our hockey fix going with a look at the remaining 2014 off-season calendar. There’s been quite a bit of action keeping us occupied so far, and we’ve still got more to look forward to.
Mid-September: Training camps begin
October 8: First games of the 2014-15 NHL season
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